Two African American football players are filing a class-action lawsuit against The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for racial discrimination. Football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson claim that they were discriminated against being on the show because of their race.
It's possible that they are correct. The show does have a notable lack of diversity and in no season has there been a black Bachelorette or Bachelor or even a person of color who made it very far in the process. As someone who has watched since the beginning, I have seen it and been bothered, too.
But then, one has to ask: So what? Doesn't the show kind of belong to the producers?
The show has never promised diversity of any kind. There are no overweight people or gay people or unattractive people or people over 35, either. Obviously these aren't the same things as racial diversity and no one would say they are, but it's unclear why the show -- a show designed and executed by Mike Fleiss -- would HAVE to have diversity in it.
If I made a list of people who had never been on the show, it would take all day and include almost everyone we know in our daily lives. It doesn't model real-life and it isn't trying to.
Would it be nice if they had more diversity? Yes. But the contestants have free will (we assume) and they have always made their own selections, which is why the fact that no African-Americans have made it into the finals says less about ABC and more about the contestants.
Besides, it's a shallow bit of trivial fluff that anyone can turn off if they don't like it. If we are going to take the show so seriously, why aren't women up in arms over how it portrays them?
The camera pans all smarmy-like over their perfect abs, their ageless breasts, and their glistening skin. It's prime-time porn at its finest.
The fact is, the show is fluffy at best. At worst it perpetuates awful sexist stereotypes and demeans all women.
Sure, diversity would be nice and be more representative of America, but the show isn't representative of America (at least not the one I live in anyway) and that isn't a requirement. The show is what it is. It has found a formula that works. If ethnic diversity is what you seek, maybe another show might be better suited? Hell, if you are deep in any way, maybe another show is better.
The Bachelor is what it is. Why would anyone expect it to be more?
Do you have a problem with the lack of diversity?
Image via ABC